HPV vax effective after longer dosing schedule

HPV vaccines given outside the recommended dosing window are still effective, according to a recent study, and that reassurance could cut costs and make the vaccines more available to women in developing countries.

Researchers inoculated 903 girls in Vietnam on the recommended 0, 2 and 6 month regimen or one of three extended schedules, ranging in length from 9 to 24 months. All of the girls developed similar antibody concentration levels, regardless of dosing schedule, with no serious adverse side effects reported. Using extended dosing schedules, doctors could vaccinate patients while providing other medical care, rather than requiring separate visits for the shot.

"Combined with continued strengthening of simple evidence-based screening and treatment approaches, effective HPV vaccine programs could reduce cervical cancer rates in developing countries to the low levels currently observed in many developed countries," said Dr. Kathleen Neuzil, of PATH, in a release.

About 88 percent of cervical cancer deaths occur in developing nations, the study's background says. The study is published in the Journal of the American Medical Association's theme issue on infectious diseases and immunology.

- read the HealthDay report